Veterans Day is a federal holiday, which means MG, Nick Bull and George Winkert had the day off. What better way to spend a Tuesday than ride a 200K permanent? It’s kind of crazy and feels out of place — a workday before, a workday after — but they got the R-12 monkey off their backs for November and we all made the most of a free weekday.
We settled on the Mason Dixon 200K from Bethesda, Md., in part because we could get there without a long drive. The route is mostly an out-and-back to Littlestown, Pa., featuring lots of rollers but no big climbs. The route initially winds through suburban congestion before reaching the open roads, with an intermediate control both ways in Woodbine, Md. (home of D.C. Randonneurs RBA Bill Beck).
The day started out clear and cold at 7 a.m. We were pretty sure it was below freezing.
We rode ahead, trying to stay warm, and next saw Nick and George at Woodbine, where George said it was 34 degrees. MG thought it wise to take our rest stop inside the High’s convenience store.
We worked through steady headwinds to the turnaround at the brand new Sheetz in Littlestown. George, who was jet lagged from a business trip to Japan, looked none the worse for wear when he and Nick arrived.
On the way back MG and I enjoyed the tailwind and bright sun. We stopped to take off jackets by a barnyard filled with goats and one little cat. We were warmly greeted by the leader of the pack.
We had to make room for some very determined school bus drivers around Woodbine, who made it their mission to pass us and then slam on the brakes to let kids off, but not much else happened. We rode steadily to stay warm as the sun set, and got back to the start around 5:45 p.m.
Mark Vinette, the permanent owner, met us at the start/finish Starbucks after completing his own permanent, the new Paul’s Paradise 200K from nearby Poolesville, Md. It was one of those rides where we went out and enjoyed the day without much drama — a treat, indeed.
Here’s the map from my GPS Track: